Assessment of small intestinal damage in patients treated with pelvic radiotherapy

Romano Carratù, Mario Secondulfo, Laura De Magistris, Bruno Daniele, Sandro Pignata, Luciano D'Agostino, Pasquale Frezza, Massimo Elmo, Giustino Silvestro, Francesco Saverio Sasso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pelvic radiotherapy almost always induces intestinal symptoms. We investigated the radiation-induced damage to the small intestinal mucosa and evaluated its relationship with symptoms, using cellobiose/mannitol permeability test (CE/MA) and plasma postheparin diamine oxidase test (PHD) in 20 patients treated with pelvic radiotherapy. The symptoms developed during radiotherapy were noted. Intestinal permeability significantly (p=0.013) increased from 0.021±0.026 to 0.047±0.055 (mean ± SD) after 15 days of radiotherapy, while it returned to normal values (0.010±0.015) at the end of radiotherapy. PHD values did not change. All patients developed intestinal symptoms. These findings indicate that pelvic radiotherapy induces an early small bowel mucosa damage followed by mucosal adaptation. Acute intestinal symptoms during pelvic radiotherapy may not depend only on small intestinal mucosal damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-639
Number of pages5
JournalOncology Reports
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Acute radiation enteropathy
  • Cellobiose
  • Intestinal permeability
  • Mannitol
  • Pelvic radiotherapy
  • Plasma postheparin diamine oxidase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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